Developer Preview available for the Java Access Bridge is now included in Java SE 7 Update 6

The Java Access Bridge product is now being included with Java SE 7u6.
Manual installation of the Java Access Bridge will no longer be required.
All Access Bridge files will be automatically installed by the JRE
and the JDK.
           
The Developer Preview for this feature is now available and can be
downloaded from http://jdk7.java.net/download.html.
          
By default, the Java Access Bridge is disabled. In order to use the Java Access
Bridge, enable it using the steps mentioned below and test your applications
for accessibility.
           
Enable the Java Access Bridge:

Use one of these mechanism:
           
1. Ease Of Access control panel.
    On Windows Vista and later the Java Access Bridge can be enabled
    from Ease of Access Center.
    Select "Use the computer without a display". In "Other programs
    installed" section , select the check box to
    "Enable Java Access Bridge" and apply.

2. Or run the following command in the Command Window.
    %JRE_HOME%\bin\jabswitch -enable

Note: You must restart your Assistive Technology software and Java
application after enabling the bridge.
           
Test the Java Access Bridge:

1. Enable the Java Access Bridge as described above.
2. Run an Assistive Technology that supports the Java Access Bridge.
3. Run a Java application. Ensure that the Assistive Technology  reads
   the values of your application.

Disable the Java Access Bridge:
           
Run the following command from the Command Window.
    %JRE_HOME%\bin\jabswitch -disable
               
Note: The Ease Of Access control panel cannot be used to disable the
bridge. You must use jabswitch from the Command window to disable the Java Access Bridge.

Comments:

The inclusion of the Java Access Bridge into the Java binaries is an excellent decision. However, the process described here requires an additional step to enable the Access Bridge. Would it be possible to enable the Access Bridge with a simple checkbox in the Java installer? That would make the process even simpler. (Of course, enabling it afterwards should still be possible.)

Posted by Christophe Strobbe on June 26, 2012 at 01:47 AM PDT #

The feature of enabling Accessibility from Ease Of Access control panel was mainly driven with the reasoning that , most users who install Java may or maynot be the user who enable the Java Access Bridge.
This is specially applicable in corporate environment.
Hence enabling Accessibility, from Ease Of Access seemed like a better home for the user.

Posted by Ragini Prasad on June 26, 2012 at 09:35 AM PDT #

Hi,

Again - it is very nice that Java Access Bridge will be included in JRE!

1. Just for my information, will all files there is releated to Java Access Bridge be deleted again, if I uninstall JRE from my computer?

2. If you can make a checkboks in the installer there will enable Java Access bridge, my and many other blind people in Denmark will be very happy :-).

A last question:
3. Do you had planned that Java Access Bridge would be incorporated in JRE, or was it because I wrote on your mailing list for Java Access Bridge and talked about NemID (the public login-solution in Denmark there use Java)?

Very thanks.

Regards,
Anders

Posted by Anders Boholdt-Petersen on June 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM PDT #

I would second the option to have a checkbox (albeit unchecked by default) to iinstall the Access Bridge.

Posted by Saqib Shaikh on June 27, 2012 at 01:35 AM PDT #

Why not enable the access bridge by default and have the ability to disable at install. Does the access bridge interfere with anything? IRL many AT users are not particularly tech savvy, and help desk support is generally poorly educated on AT needs and ease of access configuration to support AT. Turning on the access bridge by default would go a long way toward making java programs more accessible in general.

Posted by Michael Moore on June 27, 2012 at 03:50 AM PDT #

Hi

Will a new version of Java Access Bridge (e.g. when a new JDK8 is released) also be integrated in the first upcomming release of JRE?

2. Do you still will could download Java Access Bridge from the current web site (e.g. if you use a older version of JRE)?

Regards,
Anders

Posted by Anders Boholdt-Petersen on June 27, 2012 at 09:55 AM PDT #

First of all, thank you everyone for trying the developer preview and
all your feedback.

I would like to clarify that the Java Access Bridge components are now
included when Java is installed. However, since most users will not need it, the Java Access Bridge is not enabled at install time. Two simple mechanisms have been provided to enable it: the Ease of Access control panel which is activated with Windows Key + U and the jabswitch command line utility.

We do understand that most AT users are not very tech savvy, hence the
driving reason to include the Java Access Bridge to be installed as
part of the JRE / JDK, as compared to a separate manual installation.

When using the Java Access Bridge there is a small but not significant
impact on performance and the amount of memory consumed. It would be
best if these issues only impacted the users that need to use the Java
Access Bridge.

However in future we do plan to have a further integrated solution,
which should hopefully not need an enabling mechanism.

@Anders:
1. All Java Access Bridge files will be deleted on uninstall.
2. I am not allowed to comment on future products. But keeping
backward compatibility or a better solution in mind, we would either
have this integrated bridge solution or a newer solution available for
JDK8 time frame.
3. My understanding is the Java Access Bridge will be available
through archives.

Posted by Ragini Prasad on June 27, 2012 at 02:24 PM PDT #

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About

The person responsible for this blog is Pete Brunet. He is responsible for the architecture, design, and implementation of accessibility in Java and JavaFX.

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